|dc.description.abstract||Colloidal nanoparticles are widely used for industrial and scientific purposes in many fields, including catalysis, biosensing, drug delivery, and electrochemistry. It has been reported that most of the functional properties and performance of the nanoparticles are highly dependent on the particle size and morphology. Therefore, controlled synthesis of nanomaterials with desired size and structure is greatly beneficial to the application.
This dissertation presents a systematic study on the effect of ligands on the colloidal Pd nanoparticle synthesis mechanism, kinetics, and final particle size. Specifically, the research is focused on investigating how the ligand bindings to different metal species, i.e., metal precursor and nanoparticle surface, affect the nucleation and growth pathways and rates and connecting the binding thermodynamics to the kinetics quantitatively. The first part of the work (Chapters 4 and 5) is establishing isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) methodology for obtaining the thermodynamic values (Gibbs free energy, equilibrium constant, enthalpy and entropy) of the ligand-metal precursor binding reactions, and the simultaneous metal precursor trimer dissociation. In brief, the binding products and reactions were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and an ITC model was developed to fit the unique ITC heat curve and extract the thermodynamic properties of the reactions above. Furthermore, in Chapter 6, the thermodynamic properties, especially the entropy trend changing with the ligand chain length was investigated on different metal precursors based on the established ITC methodology, showing that the entropic penalty plays a significant role in the binding equilibrium.
The second part of the dissertation (Chapter 7 and 8) presents the kinetic and mechanistic study on size-tuning of the colloidal Pd nanoparticles only by changing different coordinating solvents as ligands together with the trioctylphosphine ligand. In-situ small angle X-ray scattering was applied to characterize the time evolutions of size, size distribution, and particle concentration using synthesis reactor connected to a capillary flow cell. From the real-time kinetic measurements, the nucleation and growth rates were calculated and correlated with the thermodynamics, i.e., Gibbs free energies of solvent-ligand-metal precursor reactivity and ligand-nanoparticle surface binding which were modified by the coordination of different solvents. Higher reactivity leads to faster nucleation and high nanoparticle concentration, and stronger solvent/ligand-particle coordination energy results in higher ligand capping density and slower growth. The interplay of both effects reduces the final particle size. Furthermore, because of the significance of the ligand-metal interactions, the synthesis temperature and ligand to metal precursor ratio were systematically to modify the relative binding between the ligand and precursor, and the ligand and nanoparticle, and determine the effect on the nucleation and growth rates. The results show that the relative rates of nucleation and growth is critical to the final size. A methodology for using the in-situ measurements to predict the final size by developing a kinetic model based is discussed.||en_US